Broken Beauty by Catharina Maura

Broken Beauty

Posted on March 16, 2022 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 8 Comments



BROKEN BEAUTY, A Part of the Once Upon A Crown Anthology by Catharina Maura is LIVE! Grab it at your favorite retailer!


Your favorite fairytales, reimagined. What if Captain Hook was Snow White’s Savior? And Belle was the Beast she feared. Maybe Red Riding Hood isn’t so sweet. What if the villain got the girl? Or the Princesses we know and love had secrets so dark, their tales were better left distorted. 20+ classic tales retold from the minds of best-selling and award-winning authors. Romance like you’ve never imagined, spice that’ll set you ablaze, and adventure that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat. Everyone deserves a happily ever after—even if it’s twisted.


Broken Beauty by Catharina MauraTitle: Broken Beauty
Author(s): Catharina Maura
on March 14, 2022
Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance
Source: Wildfire Marketing Solutions
Format: eArc
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameHalf a Flame

A Beauty and the Beast retelling featuring a cursed emperor, a princess who possesses forbidden magic, and a marriage that could save them all.

Arabella of Althea is left no choice when Felix Osiris, the Shadow Emperor, threatens to overthrow her country unless she agrees to marry him.

When she learns his empire is cursed and she’s destined to set them free, they come to an agreement: help him minimise the curse’s effect on his people, and he’ll let her go.

As Felix teaches Arabella how to control her volatile magic, her feelings for him turn from hatred to passion… and she realises that she must break the curse, or she’ll lose him forever.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


The first thing about Broken Beauty to grab my attention was the cover. However, my decision to request a copy for review was due to it being a Beauty and the Beast retelling. A wonderful time was had with this interesting take on a well-loved fairytale.

New to me, author Catharina Mauer delivered a tale which hooked me from the very first page. It’s always nice discovering a new author and Mauer did not disappoint. I would definitely read more of her work.

This retelling of Beauty and the Beast introduces to Felix and Arabella. Felix is the ruler of the Kingdom Eldiria and a powerful sorcerer. Known as the Shadow Emperor. A powerful leader, feared by all. However, no-one outside his kingdom knew of his curse. A curse which forced him to live in the shadows bathed in inescapable darkness. A prophecy revealed that the key to breaking the curse lay in Arabella, princess of Althea.

The ruler of the kingdom of Althea, Arabelle’s father, banned magic. Because of the ban, the people of Althea treated Arabella like a pariah because of her magical powers. Her father despised her, so it came as no surprise when he readily agreed for her to marry the Shadow Emperor. Arabella, however, will not give without a fight. 

Felix and Arabella were interesting characters. At first, I feared for Arabella, recognising she was walking into the unknown. After all, Felix was rumoured to be evil. But the thing with rumours is most time they are created out of fear. After getting to know Felix, I recognised the fears were for naught. A true alpha who was caring, smart, fearless, protective, powerful and a fair leader.

Despite the abuse Arabella suffered at her father’s hand, it didn’t break her. It only made her determine to forge her own part. However, with her marriage to Felix, this may be difficult. But what she saw as a fate worse than death proved to be her saving grace.

The relationship which developed between the protagonists warmed my heart. Under Felix’s tutelage, she learned to harness her magic, making her more powerful than she could imagine. The story delivered moments, which made me laugh, broke my heart and had me cheering for the characters. The scene that had me cheering the most involved Arabella standing up to her father. Wow! Just priceless. The world building fascinated me, and I enjoyed spending time in this magical world. It was interesting learning about the origin of the curse and the impact it had on both Felix and his kingdom.

Broken Beauty was a beautiful story that enthralled the reader with its magical and romantic moments. Fans of fairy tale retelling and stories set in a world where magic reigns will love what Mauer offers in Broken Beauty. 


Story Evaluation
World Building
Writing Style
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star


About Catharina Maura

Catharina Maura grew up in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She has since lived in The United Kingdom, Singapore, and Hong Kong. She’s an accountant by trade, but her undying love for romance novels combined with a petty bet with her husband resulted in the release of her first book. She hasn’t looked back since. Cat writes steamy and angsty contemporary romance that will give you all the feels, and her leading men only ever have eyes for one woman, no matter what life throws at them. You’ll usually find her daydreaming about the characters that waltz through her thoughts, begging for a happily ever after.

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